Our city and the surrounding areas are growing increasingly. New families are joining us, new businesses are establishing themselves, and our arts scene, more than ever, is bustling. Here are four artists that are making a name for themselves.
Janibeth Outlaw makes the kind of art that takes you by the hand and leads you to a different world entirely. Specializing in live art, gold leaf abstracts, and commissions of family and pets, her works are filled to the brim with color, with hazy figures and happy moments. Influenced by classic artists, like Norman Rockwell and Caravaggio, and modern artists, such as Dianne Reeves and Melanie Morris, her paintings are frames for memories and dreams alike. Janibeth graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in art and art history, but her life has always been marked and illustrated by her art. “I’ll see a landscape, and I can see the painting and all the colors that go along with it in my mind. It affects everything I do because it is a part of me.” It always has been; her childhood home has artwork on its walls that illustrate a talent beyond her younger years. After college, Janibeth began doing commissioned work, but it was not until the birth of her third child that it began to be a much larger part of her life. "This last year has shown me the importance of flexibility,” she shares. With COVID 19, Janibeth saw an increase in the need for her art - people had much more time on their hands for things like home renovation, and they wanted to fill their homes with her work. “Sometimes [a commission] may be a special piece that goes into a family's house to make it feel more like a home. Other times, it is a portrait of someone who has passed on, and it means something to them. Being able to capture those meaningful parts of life for people is important to me.” She is also known for her beautiful live paintings that capture sweet moments of weddings.
Janibeth is a strong believer in continually growing her craft. “It’s very important to me that I sharpen my skills and learn from other people. I have been painting for many years, but I still have so much left to learn.” Her favorite things to paint are gold leaf abstracts, which she describes as “a little more liberating and freeing.” But regardless of the subject, Janibeth finds joy in creating, particularly for others. “If I can add any extra element of happiness to people’s lives, that’s what is important to me. If I can capture a special feeling, moment, something, or someone that they can enjoy in their home, whatever I do, I want it to be something that brings joy and happiness to them.”
“Say it ‘til tomorrow...It’s your time that I borrow...And if you want, I’ll give you all of mine.” So goes the chorus of Jaycie Ward’s heartfelt and picturesque song, "All of Mine." Jaycie, a local songwriter, is paving her own way. Inspired by the music her father showed her as a child, artists like Bob Dylan and Elton John, she uses a mixture of personal experience and her own finely tuned storytelling to create songs that are filled with characters dealing with heartbreak and feeling. Jaycie is dedicated to her craft. “[Writing] is everything to me," she explains. "It helps me cope with whatever I’m dealing with in my life. If I couldn’t write, I would go insane.” Jaycie has become a staple of the local live music scene. She performs a mixture of originals and covers that she has revised to fit her own style, like Ariana Grande’s "7 Rings." For Jaycie, performing live is a form of connection. “I always try to connect with one person at a gig. If I connect with one person, then it’s a good night. It makes you realize you’re lucky to be in this position. I’m blessed beyond belief.”
Lane Harman is an up-and-coming artist to watch. His work is personal, made up of families and pets so vivid that you could almost touch them. Lane realized his love for art in a high school art class. He began to master his skills, and he even won several competitions. A prize for one of them was a canvas and paint brushes. His family was impressed with what he made and gave him an easel, and as they say, the rest was history. Lane began doing local commissions after high school; his favorite work that he has done so far has been a large portrait of three English Bulldogs. “It has a lot of value to me because two of the dogs passed away soon after I gave the painting to the family…I love to paint dogs because people love to have their pets painted.” His works have a way of pausing time for the recipients of his paintings, memories to hang on the walls and to keep forever. Lane wants to be known for his passion and love for art, and with his talent, that is in no way an unforeseeable future.
Railey Warren is a local that creates imaginative art in everyday spaces like sidewalks and public places. Her work is filled with characters of distinct colors and whimsical expression. Growing up with a love of art, she began to showcase her art at the age of 10 when she entered an art competition and won her age division. “I was able to get into contact with other wonderful artists who are really inspiring,” she says. This connection also stems towards those outside of the art community that interact with her work. “There are certain people that I meet and talk to on the street that I wouldn’t meet in an art gallery.” Her work can also be seen in many places throughout Augusta, like Pineapple Ink Tavern. Railey’s art is centered on connection. "I love collaborating with local businesses and other artists because they think of things I would never think of on my own. We are able to combine our visions,” she explains. Railey desires to create for the happiness of others. “I want to make people happy with my artwork because I have been encouraged and pushed by others all my years. I want to spread that to other people.”